Notes and photos from places around the world that have villages, ruins, and good food. And $35 hotels... Also, wilderness 4x4 camping and backpacking.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mykonos and England, June 2007

Bob and Sooz attended a wedding in Mykonos, then spent some time in England, for a contrast in the weather. Mykonos: hot and glary; England: cold, wet, and glum.

We learned never to fly on Olympic to the Greek islands. They canceled flights the day before we were to return and on our day. No assistance; no refund. We had to take the ferry to Athens and then buy a new ticket back to London.

The objective of the trip to England was to visit gardens. This we did by staying in London and taking train trips north to Cambridge, west to Chippenham and Bath, and south to Kent. By staying in London, we avoided changing hotels every day and enjoyed Chinese, Syrian, and Turkish food. It did require us to make our way to one of London's huge railway stations for each trip, find the train, and spend an hour or so traveling each way. The only big obstacle was that our trip to Bath coincided with University Day at Bristol U--the day that the university invites prospective students to look the place over. The outbound train was packed with the cream of British youth, all with beautiful accents. Not your usual teenage crowd. Coming back, we had to stand part of the way because the train filled completely with returning teenagers in Bristol.


Sunset from our hotel room in Mykonos

We took a short boat trip to the neighboring isle of Delos, with exemplary ruins from the 6th century BC

In the excellent Delos museum, a barbecue set in usable condition, 2600 years old.

Lots of good pictures of cats with large eyes

The Delossians commissioned sculpture portraits, not always flattering

These lions were dug up in the late 19th century and now inhabit the museum

Good mosaics in the ruins

Cambridge University Botanical Garden

On our first day in England, we were taken on a tour of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden by its director

The trained eye can pick out two gray chicks walking on the lily pads

One surprising thing we learned was that Cambridge is semi-arid, with only about the same amount of annual rainfall as Palo Alto. Worse, it falls in the summer rather than the winter. It has rained like crazy for the past 6 weeks, however, so all is green.

Bowood, near Chippenham, on the way to Bath

House and garden at Bowood

Artificial waterful draining artificial lake

Iford, south of Bath

Ilford, on the same trip, near Bath

Unusual topiaries

Hever Castle, south of London in Kent

Duck family at Hever Castle and garden, our last trip

The glory of monochrome gardening

Topiary chess set

Excellent artificial water